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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure BE-2022-12/2815 – measures in Belgium

Federal measures to reduce fuel prices

Federale maatregelen om brandstofprijzen te verlagen

Country Belgium , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 19 March 2022 – 30 September 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Responses to inflation
– Support for fuel expenses
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Measure added 08 September 2022 (updated 20 September 2022)

Background information

As fuel prices rose due to a reduction in supply, the demand for the government to intervene and buffer some of this increase grew significantly. Both companies that rely heavily on road transport as well as households face increasing costs due to significant increases in fuel prices. Because of this general measures that apply to all (oil-based) fuel prices were implemented for a limited amount of time (with possibilities of increases in duration).

Legal reference: Draft royal decree temporarily amending Article 419(b), (c), (e)(i) and (f)(i), Article 420(3) and Article 429(5)(1) of the Programme Law of 27 December 2004.

Content of measure

The prices of petroleum products are subject to ceilings in Belgium. This is done by The Federal Public Service Economy, which calculates them on a daily basis. This is established in a programme agreement between the Belgian government and the petroleum sector.

The calculation formulas are designed, on the one hand, to pass on the various costs of the production and supply chain as well as to protect consumers from price fluctuations and increases.

Given the context of extraordinary price increases during the past few months, the Belgian federal government has decided to take temporary measures to mitigate the significant impact by reducing the excise duty on petrol and diesel to €144.6282 per 1,000 liters. This amounts to a discount of €0.175 per liters at the pump. The level of the discount also depends on fluctuations in the international market and the application of the VAT rate.

Important is that at the same time, a so called: "regular click system" is implemented. This system will increase prices again if they fall below €1.7 per liters. When this occurs, the excise duty rate will be increased once again, with the aim of gradually bringing price levels back to the level of 1 January 2022.

Use of measure

The measure applies to all fuel prices and is applied automatically and directly.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

Not mentioned.

Views and reactions

Not mentioned.

Sources

  • 02 June 2022: Accijnsverlagingen om de stijging van de brandstofprijzen voor het wegvervoer af te remmen (economie.fgov.be)

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Federal measures to reduce fuel prices, measure BE-2022-12/2815 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BE-2022-12_2815.html

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